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Is it just me or are German books a tad boring?

  1. Jul 20, 2009 #1
    I went to Austria for a year-long exchange during high school and I learned quite a bit of German. I am at the point where I can read 90% of the 'adult' sort of novels (meaning books that are not children's books or short stories, not erotic books). I'm browsing amazon.de looking for a few to buy to keep me occupied but I'm having trouble finding any that sound interesting. It's a bit odd, since I'm not a very picky reader in English at all. Does anyone else have this problem with reading in another language or am I just being overly picky?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2009 #2
    Try the erotic ones.
  4. Jul 20, 2009 #3
    Ah but unfortunately German's not exactly the sexiest language out there. /sigh
  5. Jul 20, 2009 #4


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    They bore the hell out of me, but that's probably because I can't read German.
  6. Jul 20, 2009 #5
    You may be not totally comfortable with the language yet. Can you read the books quickly? If it takes me much longer to read a foreign book than an English book, I would get frustrated too.

    Or just read picture books. (When I say picture books, don't I mean children's books....
    I mean hardcore wet Austrian pornography.
  7. Jul 20, 2009 #6
  8. Jul 20, 2009 #7


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    It sounds like you would be doing yourself a favor to read recreationally in German just to keep your skill with the language.
    It's smart to keep fluent, keep what you learned on the highschool exchange program. It's a good language.

    So you don't have to read novels by German novelists. If you like Russian novels instead you can read Brothers Karamazov in German! They have translations of everything.

    Tell us what you enjoy reading in English. We can give you plenty of ideas of stuff you can enjoy reading in German.

    My friend was in the US Army in Germany way back 30-40 years ago. He likes to read American detective novels and James Bond novels, spy thrillers. So he makes a point to read some of those those novels he enjoys in German translation. He still goes every year to Germany on vacation. He has a lot of friends and has a great time being a real part of life, not a tourist only.

    He also gets news magazines and newspapers in German sometimes. The library has them.

    What you should read in German is what you ordinarily like most to read. If it is travel books, then get travel books in German. Or Mary Poppins, you can probably find that in German. Whatever.

    I like to watch German movies. For example my wife and I have a favorite that we have watched several times called "Wings of Desire" or "Skies over Berlin". They have it at the local rental place called Reel and also on Netflix, it stars Bruno Ganz.

    I wonder what favorite German movies other people have.

    Some DVDs have a choice of language and you can select to hear the dialog in German. I discovered that I enjoy a certain John Travolta movie better if it is in French, with French actors speaking the lines. It seems more suitable for gangsters and Grade B movie actors to be talking French, somehow.
    Probably you could find some very entertaining things that way. I wonder how Bladerunner would be if it had a German soundtrack, with English subtitles in case you missed something. Or Men in Black, but with Tommy Lee Jones talking German. Have fun and be creative. Keep your foreign language alive.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  9. Jul 20, 2009 #8
    That's a good idea. Translations though will likely be lacking in german expression, idioms, culture, and history. It would probably be better to get all of these elements if you can.
  10. Jul 20, 2009 #9


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    Nice ideas. I really liked the movie 'The Lives of Others' -
    with subtitles because I don't speak German. (Actually, I really like translated works of some German authors too, but I think I also like books that seem boring:smile:.)
  11. Jul 20, 2009 #10
    Everyone tells me Kant is quite readable. After you finish the Critique of Pure Reason (or Kritik der Reinen Vernunft as they pronounce it), Kafka and Hesse won't seem that bad at all. Then the Brothers Grimm is (are?) not just for kinder. I read Kafka and Hesse in English and couldn't understand them, so in German it must be murder, but you asked for it.
  12. Jul 20, 2009 #11
    I enjoyed some Kafka but it can certainly be slow going and a bit tedious at times.
  13. Jul 20, 2009 #12
    First off, I don't mean to offend anyone. Please don't take the following the wrong way.

    I bet there is interesting Nazi-era literature written in German, although you might have trouble finding it, especially in Germany. I wouldn't know. If you enjoy sociology, psychology, history, etc. it might prove to be very interesting reading.
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